DCU honours Arab world’s first female politician

Cáit Caden

Amal Al Qubaisi received an honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from DCU. Image Credit: Julien Behal for The Irish Times Online.

Amal Al Qubaisi, the Arab world’s most senior politician, received an honorary doctorate from DCU last Thursday.

Al Qubaisi was conferred with a doctorate in philosophy by DCU before meeting with President Michael D Higgins the next day.

“Amal Al Qubaisi is a worthy recipient of an honorary doctorate in philosophy,” said Dr Ethna Regan, Head of School in Theology and Philosophy at DCU.

Dr Regan believes “she is very conscious that taking up that role was not simply an achievement for herself but that she is making history for all Arab women.”

Amal Al Qubaisi was the first female ever elected in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and subsequently was the first female leader of the Emirates national parliament. The 48-year-old is now the president of the Federal National Council in the UAE.

“I come from a country where more than 200 nationalities live together, a home for more than 40 churches, two Hindu temples and a synagogue,” said Al Qubaisi while she thanked DCU for her doctorate which she called “a great honour.”

Al Qubaisi continued by saying what united all of these people with diverse faith was “respect for each other, for human rights, for contribution to the society and above all a respect for shared dreams of success, prosperity and a brighter future.”

“If there’s one word which captures what she stands for it is tolerance, an increasingly rare attribute in a world of coarsening values, xenophobia and rampant populism,” said Dr Brian MacCraith, DCU President, about Al Qubaisi.

Amal Al Qubaisi also attended the launch of DCU’s new Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion last Thursday, which is the first of its kind to be opened in Ireland.

She was joined by Employer Disability Information HR & Disability Project Manager, Seònaid O’Murchadha, Founder of Empower The Family, Deborah Somorin and Director of the Centre of Excellence, Sandra Healy.

By Cáit Caden

Image Credit: Julien Behal for The Irish Times Online.